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How AirTag saved my bike

Today we bring you a story from reddior u/h3ff.

A couple nights ago, my road bicycle was stolen while I was grabbing dinner. Unfortunately, this is just a part of city life and leaving a nice bike out in the public, even if locked up. In most cases, this would be the end of the story, as most stolen bikes are never recovered.

Two weeks prior to the theft, I placed an Apple AirTag under the seat. Within minutes of the bike being stolen, I received an alert on my phone that the bike was left behind. I knew the lock had been broken and that my bike was on the move. I was immediately able to track the movement of the thief in the Find My app.

They took an urban river trail which was close enough to get pings from several iPhones along the way. I tracked it to a local "tent city" and then called the police to recover it. I didn't want to engage them directly, but unfortunately the police arrived 15 minutes too late.

The bike was on the move again in a vehicle this time, but luckily the thief had no idea it was being tracked. I was getting location updates about every 5 minutes while it was in the car. I following the pings as closely as possible. I assume that iPhones in passing cars were providing pings for location updates.

Eventually it stopped at a local gas station and I used Precision Finding to track it down to the exact car, where I could see the bike through the window. I confronted the driver with the police on the phone, proved I owned it with a matching serial number, and they gave it back immediately.

I realize that AirTags are not a perfect solution, but there's no way I would have recovered the bike otherwise, and I am ecstatic that I don't have to buy a new one!

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